ISO updates & Covid-19

ASCA Update - Guest Column

Now is a great time to advance your staff with training, on-going education and certifications, including ISO 9001/SN 9001.

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April 22, 2020

 

Welcome spring! Well, sort of.

Spring always brings a freshness and new plans. It’s never too late to plan ahead and since we are all living in challenging times with personal health and economic issues related to the Coronavirus, now is the perfect time to do just that – plan.

We can all learn from this and take steps to prepare for our future.

Now is also a great time to advance your staff with training, on-going education and certifications.

As an independent ISO9001 auditor, I have had to re-think the traditional methods that audits are conducted. Instead of scheduling an audit date with a client, making a travel itinerary, and arriving on site to conduct the audit, I now schedule the audit date with my clients and offer to proceed with the audit via secured video conferencing.

Not only does this comply with our current social distancing restrictions and industry standards compliance, it cuts out travel and hotel expenses to clients while still being able to carry on with audits and certifications. Video conferencing is becoming the normal, doctors are using this method with patients, and it offers all the same benefits as if I were sitting inside your building reviewing contracts, site maps, inspections, etc.

w with my snow clients throughout the year, not just at audit times so we can discuss issues, processes, etc.

I have included remarks from two of my contractors on their thoughts/views with regard to the Coronavirus pandemic and the industry.

“The abrupt change is the most impactful aspect of this entire epidemic. We are understaffed and trying to stay as efficient as possible with a limited crew. Previously, jobs that we only needed one truck with five employees, now has three trucks driving to one job, which means our profit margins are slimming. Changing our sales process brought to light how much sales travel we did with so little return. We are using this time to adapt to new and old technology, also using programs like Zoom, Facetime and Google Hangouts as initial consultations with clients, to prepare renderings, and present a design, all without person to person contact. Our preparedness and organization within our office and management staff conducting our final snow post season inspection reports, collecting field machinery and end of season surveys with their renewals has been greatly attributed to us being an ISO-certified company. We look forward to the return of normalcy and pray for the safety of all.”

Anthony Pennella

Owner, Polar Snow & Ice Solutions

Towaco, NJ

“As a maintenance, landscape and snow removal company, our winter in Michigan was not as profitable as normal, so this spring could have been our opportunity to get staff back to work and in the field with a jump start on projects. Covid-19 has impacted our business due to the delayed start of great weather. On the environmental side, Covid-19 has hampered the industry because we play to the drum of the calendar. We have conducive weather and fertilizers, pre-emergents and essential services that need to be performed now, delaying these much longer will play hurtful to the scope of controlling weeds, diseases, trash and spring clean-ups throughout the state. One thing for sure is being an ISO-certified company our clients and new leads know that they can trust us, our service and our integrity. We are getting referrals who are specifically looking for an ISO contractor to establish with when this pandemic concludes. Any contractor that is not ISO certified to the snow industry, now is the time to seriously consider it while you have the downtime. We are in this together and we will work through this together.”

William Moore

Owner, Executive Property Maintenance

Plymouth, Mich.

Let’s not let the COVID-19 diminish our future plans. We can all get through this together. Stay safe.

If you are interested in learning more about secured video conferencing for GAP Assessments or Internal Audits, please contact me anytime. #Andra tutto bene! (everything will be fine).

A frequent Snow Magazine contributor, Beth Savastano is the lead auditor at Beth Savastano Consulting. You can reach her at blsavastano@gmail.com